|Motto||Ut Aquila Versus Coelum (Latin)|
Motto in English
|As an eagle towards the sky|
|Established||June 24, 1794|
|Endowment||$1.78 billion (2020)|
|Undergraduates||1,805 (Spring, 2019)|
207 acres (84 ha)
|Colors||Black and White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III – NESCAC|
Bowdoin College (// (listen) BOH-din) is a private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine. At the time Bowdoin was chartered, in 1794, Maine was still a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The college offers 34 majors and 36 minors, as well as several joint engineering programs with Columbia, Caltech, Dartmouth College, and the University of Maine.
The college was a founding member of its athletic conference, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, and the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium, an athletic conference and inter-library exchange with Bates and Colby College. Bowdoin has over 30 varsity teams and the school mascot was selected as a polar bear in 1913 to honor Robert Peary, a Bowdoin alumnus who led the first successful expedition to the North Pole. Between the years 1821 and 1921, Bowdoin operated a medical school called the Medical School of Maine.
The main Bowdoin campus is located near Casco Bay and the Androscoggin River. In addition to its Brunswick campus, Bowdoin also owns a 118-acre coastal studies center on Orr's Island and a 200-acre scientific field station on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy.
Founding and 19th century
Bowdoin College was chartered in 1794 by the Massachusetts State Legislature and was later redirected under the jurisdiction of the Maine Legislature. It was named for former Massachusetts governor James Bowdoin, whose son James Bowdoin III was an early benefactor. At the time of its founding, it was the easternmost college in the United States, as it was located in Maine.
Bowdoin began to develop in the 1820s, a decade in which Maine became an independent state as a result of the Missouri Compromise and graduated U.S. President Franklin Pierce who played an integral role the nation's enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, and advocated for the land rights of cotton plantations. The college also graduated two literary philosophers, the writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, both of whom graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1825. Pierce and Hawthorne began an official militia company called the 'Bowdoin Cadets'.
From its founding, Bowdoin was known to educate the sons of the politically elite and "catered very largely to the wealthy conservative from the state of Maine." The establishment of Bates College in nearby Lewiston, began a century-long academic and athletic rivalry between the two colleges ultimately creating a complex and enduring relationship. During the first half of the 19th century, Bowdoin required of its students a certificate of "good moral character" as well as knowledge of Latin and Ancient Greek, geography, algebra and the major works of Cicero, Xenophon, Virgil and Homer.
Harriet Beecher Stowe started writing her influential anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, in Brunswick while her husband was teaching at the college, and Brigadier General (and Brevet Major General) Joshua Chamberlain, a Bowdoin alumnus and professor, was present at the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House in 1865. Chamberlain, a Medal of Honor recipient who later served as governor of Maine, adjutant-general of Maine, and president of Bowdoin, fought at Gettysburg, where he was in command of the 20th Maine in defense of Little Round Top. Major General Oliver Otis Howard, class of 1850, led the Freedmen's Bureau after the war and later founded Howard University; Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, class of 1837, was responsible for the formation of the 54th Massachusetts; and William P. Fessenden (1823) and Hugh McCulloch (1827) both served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Lincoln Administration. However, the college's involvement in the Civil War was mixed as Bowdoin had many ties to slave labor and the Confederacy.
With strained slave-relations between political parties, President Franklin Pierce appointed Jefferson Davis as his Secretary of War, and the college awarded the soon-to-be President of the Confederacy an honorary degree. The Jefferson Davis Award was given to a student who excelled in legal studies after a donation was given to the college by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The award, however, was discontinued in 2015, with the current college president citing it as inappropriate due to the fact it was named after someone "whose mission was to preserve and institutionalize slavery." President Ulysses S. Grant, too, was given an honorary degree from the college in 1865. Seventeen Bowdoin alumni attained the rank of brigadier general during the Civil War, including James Deering Fessenden and Francis Fessenden; Ellis Spear, class of 1858, who served as Chamberlain's second-in-command at Gettysburg; and Charles Hamlin, class of 1857, son of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.
Although Bowdoin's Medical School of Maine closed its doors in 1921, it produced Dr. Augustus Stinchfield, who received his M.D. in 1868 and went on to become one of the co-founders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1877, the college would go on to graduate the infamous Charles Morse, the American banker who established near-monopoly of the ice business in New York, which directly led to the financial Panic of 1907. Another alumnus in the sciences is the controversial entomologist-turned-sexologist Alfred Kinsey, class of 1916.
The college went on to educate and eventually graduate Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary, class of 1877, and Donald B. MacMillan, class of 1898. Robert Peary named Bowdoin Fjord and Bowdoin Glacier after his alma mater. Peary led the first successful expedition to the North Pole in 1908, and MacMillan, a member of Peary's crew, explored Greenland, Baffin Island and Labrador in the schooner Bowdoin between 1908 and 1954. Bowdoin's Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum honors the two explorers, and the college's mascot, the polar bear, was chosen in 1913 to honor MacMillan, who donated a statue of a polar bear to his alma mater in 1917.
Wallace H. White, Jr., class of 1899, served as Senate Minority Leader from 1944–1947 and Senate Majority Leader from 1947–1949; George J. Mitchell, class of 1954, served as Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995 before assuming an active role in the Northern Ireland peace process; and William Cohen, class of 1962, spent twenty-five years in the House and Senate before being appointed Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration.
In 1970, it became one of a very limited number of liberal arts college to make the SAT optional in the admissions process, and in 1971, after nearly 180 years as a small men's college, Bowdoin admitted its first class of women. Bowdoin also phased out fraternities in 1997, replacing them with a system of college-owned social houses. Bowdoin began competing in the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium, with Bates and Colby in 1970. The consortium became an athletic rivalry, and academic exchange program. The three schools produce numerous contentions in athletics, most notably a football championship game and the Chase Regatta.
In 2001, Barry Mills, class of 1972, was appointed as the fifth alumnus president of the college. On January 18, 2008, Bowdoin announced that it would be eliminating loans for all new and current students receiving financial aid, replacing those loans with grants beginning with the 2008–2009 academic year. President Mills stated, "Some see a calling in such vital but often low paying fields such as teaching or social work. With significant debt at graduation, some students will undoubtedly be forced to make career or education choices not on the basis of their talents, interests, and promise in a particular field, but rather on their capacity to repay student loans. As an institution devoted to the common good, Bowdoin must consider the fairness of such a result."
In February 2009, following a $10 million donation by Subway Sandwiches co-founder and alumnus Peter Buck, class of 1952, the college completed a $250-million capital campaign. Additionally, the college has also recently completed major construction projects on the campus, including a renovation of the college's art museum and a new fitness center named after Peter Buck.
Course distribution requirements were abolished in the 1970s, but were reinstated by a faculty majority vote in 1981, as a result of an initiative by oral communication and film professor Barbara Kaster. She insisted that distribution requirements would ensure students a more well-rounded education in a diversity of fields and therefore present them with more career possibilities. The requirements of at least two courses in each of the categories of Natural Sciences/Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities/Fine Arts, and Foreign Studies (including languages) took effect for the Class of 1987 and have been gradually amended since then. Current requirements require one course each in: Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual and Performing Arts, International Perspectives and Exploring Social Differences. A small writing-intensive course, called a First Year Seminar, is also required.
In 1990, the Bowdoin faculty voted to change the four-level grading system to the traditional A, B, C, D and F system. The previous system, consisting of high honors, honors, pass and fail, was devised primarily to de-emphasize the importance of grades and to reduce competition. In 2002, the faculty decided to change the grading system so that it incorporated plus and minus grades. In 2006, Bowdoin was named a "Top Producer of Fulbright Awards for American Students" by the Institute of International Education.
Other notable Bowdoin faculty include (or have included): Edville Gerhardt Abbott, Charles Beitz, John Bisbee, Paul Chadbourne, Thomas Cornell, Kristen R. Ghodsee, Eddie Glaude, Joseph E. Johnson, Richard Morgan, Elliott Schwartz, Kenneth Chenault and Scott Sehon.
|Liberal arts colleges|
|U.S. News & World Report||6|
In the 2021 edition of the U.S. News & World Report rankings, Bowdoin was ranked tied for 6th best overall among liberal arts colleges in the United States, tied at 11th for "Best Undergraduate Teaching", 12th in "Best Value Schools", and tied at 29th for "Most Innovative". In the 2019 Forbes college rankings, Bowdoin was ranked 26th overall among 650 universities, liberal arts colleges, and service academies, and 6th among private liberal arts colleges.
Bowdoin was ranked first among 1,204 small colleges in the U.S. by Niche in 2017. Based on students' SAT scores, Bowdoin is tied with Williams for 5th in Business Insider's smartest liberal arts colleges with an average score of 1435 for math and critical reading combined. Among all colleges, it is tied with Brown, Carnegie Mellon, and Williams for 22nd. The college was ranked 5th in the country by Washington Monthly in 2019 based on its contribution to the public good, as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service. In 2006 Newsweek described Bowdoin as a "New Ivy", one of a number of liberal arts colleges and universities outside of the Ivy League, and it has also been dubbed a "Hidden Ivy".
The acceptance rate for the Class of 2023 was 8.9 percent. The applicant pool consisted of 9,332 candidates, up from 9,081 for the Class of 2022.
U.S. News and World Report classifies Bowdoin as "most selective". Of enrolling students, 89% are in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Although Bowdoin does not require the SAT in admissions, all students must submit a score upon matriculation. The middle 50% SAT range for the verbal and math sections of the SAT is 660–750 and 660–750, respectively — numbers of only those submitting scores during the admissions process. The middle 50% ACT range is 30–33.
The April 17, 2008, edition of The Economist noted Bowdoin in an article on university admissions: "So-called 'almost-Ivies' such as Bowdoin and Middlebury also saw record low admission rates this year (18% each). It is now as hard to get into Bowdoin, says the college's admissions director, as it was to get into Princeton in the 1970s." Many students apply for financial aid, and around 85% of those who apply receive aid. Bowdoin is a need-blind and a no-loans institution. While a significant portion of the student body hails from New England — including nearly 25% from Massachusetts and 10% from Maine — recent classes have drawn from an increasingly national and international pool. The median family income of Bowdoin students is $195,900, with 57% of students coming from the top 10% highest-earning families and 17.5% from the bottom 60%. Although Bowdoin once had a reputation for homogeneity (both ethnically and socioeconomically), a diversity campaign has increased the percentage of students of color in recent classes to more than 31%. In fact, admission of minorities goes back at least as far as John Brown Russwurm 1826, Bowdoin's first African-American college graduate, and the third African-American graduate of any American college.
Bowdoin's dining services have been ranked #1 among all universities and colleges nationally by Princeton Review in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2016, with The New York Times reporting: "If it weren't for the trays, and for the fact that most diners are under 25, you'd think it was a restaurant." Bowdoin uses food from its organic garden in its two major dining halls, and every academic year begins with a lobster bake outside Farley Fieldhouse.
Recalling his days at Bowdoin in a recent interview, Professor Richard E. Morgan (Class of 1959) described student life at the then-all-male school as "monastic," and noted that "the only things to do were either work or drink." (This is corroborated by the Official Preppy Handbook, which in 1980 ranked Bowdoin the number two drinking school in the country, behind Dartmouth.) These days, Morgan observed, the college offers a far broader array of recreational opportunities: "If we could have looked forward in time to Bowdoin's standard of living today, we would have been astounded."
Since abolishing Greek fraternities in the late 1990s, Bowdoin has switched to a system in which entering students are assigned a "college house" affiliation correlating with their first-year dormitory. While six houses were originally established, following the construction of two new dorms, two were added effective in the fall of 2007, bringing the total to eight: Ladd, Baxter, Quinby, MacMillan, Howell, Helmreich, Reed, and Burnett. The college houses are physical buildings around campus which host parties and other events throughout the year. Those students who choose not to live in their affiliated house retain their affiliation and are considered members throughout their Bowdoin career. Before the fraternity system was abolished in the 1990s, all the Bowdoin fraternities were co-educational (except for one unrecognized sorority and two unrecognized all-male fraternities).
Bowdoin's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1825. Those who have been inducted to the Maine chapter as undergraduates include Nathaniel Hawthorne (1825), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1825), Robert E. Peary (1877), Owen Brewster (1909), Harold Hitz Burton (1909), Paul Douglas (1913), Alfred Kinsey (1916), Thomas R. Pickering (1953), and Lawrence B. Lindsey (1976).
The largest student group on campus is the Outing Club, which leads canoeing, kayaking, rafting, camping and backpacking trips throughout Maine. Bowdoin's Board Game Club currently holds the largest email base of any student group. One of the school's two historic rival literary societies, The Peucinian Society, has recently been revitalized from its previous form. The Peucinian Society was founded in 1805. This organization counts such people as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain amongst its former members. The other, the now-defunct Athenian Society, included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Franklin Pierce as members. These literary and intellectual societies were the dominant groups on campus before they declined in popularity after the rise of Greek fraternities.
Bowdoin competes in the Standard Platform League of RoboCup as the Northern Bites, where teams compete with 5 autonomous Aldebaran Nao robots. Bowdoin won the world championship in RoboCup 2007, beating Carnegie Mellon University, and finished 2nd in the 2015 US Open.
Media and publications
Bowdoin's student newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient, is the oldest continuously published college weekly in the United States. The Orient was named the second best tabloid-sized college weekly at a Collegiate Associated Press conference in March 2007 and the best college newspaper in New England by the New England Society of News Editors in 2018. Additionally, the school's literary magazine, The Quill, has been published since 1897. The Bowdoin Globalist, an international news, culture, and politics magazine affiliated with the Global21 organization of college magazines has been publishing since 2012. The Bowdoin Globalist transitioned to a digital-only platform in 2015. The college's radio station, WBOR, has been in operation since 1951. In 1999, The Bowdoin Cable Network was formed, producing a weekly newscast and several student created shows per semester.
There are six a cappella groups on campus. The Meddiebempsters and the Longfellows are all-male, Miscellania is all-female, BOKA and Ursus Verses are co-ed, and Bear Tones's singers are "female and treble voices".
"The Longfellows" are the newer of the two all male groups. Founded in 2004, they trace their roots to the historic class of 1825 at Bowdoin, which graduated Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In 2011, they won their quarterfinal of the International Collegiate Championship of A Cappella, advancing them to the semifinals, as the only all-male group. The same year, they were in the final round of selection to be on NBC's "The Sing Off." In 2010 and again in 2013, they sang the national anthem at a Boston Celtics game. They have performed all over Maine and the Northeast.
"Miscellania" is the oldest all-female a cappella group at Bowdoin College. Miscellania was founded in 1972 as the female counterpart to the Meddiebempsters, shortly after women were admitted to Bowdoin. Since then, Miscellania has grown to be a part of the tradition of a cappella at Bowdoin College. Distinguishable by their black dresses, Miscellania has performed all over Maine and the Northeast, as well as down the East Coast on longer tours, and Aruba.
In the months of November, December, and February in 2015, the college faced a string of alleged and confirmed rapes and sexual assaults. The reports of assault included a local registered sex offender breaking and entering into the college's Mayflower Apartments and raping a student, and a convicted sex offender photographing female students while showering or undressing. In response to events, Bowdoin requested that the Brunswick police increase patrols near the college and issued alerts to students, faculty, and staff. With a reported 17 rapes occurring in 2014, the college has stated that the increase in number is attributed to "new federal reporting rules and an increased awareness on campus." The following summer the college would be listed in an article by The Washington Post analyzing crime statistics entitled "Grade Point: These colleges have the most reports of rape", placing 7th in the country for most reported rapes per 1,000 students.
On June 10, 2014, The New York Times, published an article on the college's dismissal of the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship on the grounds that it was biased against homosexuality and beliefs on abstinence; the group has been barred from operating on campus.
On October 22, 2015, Bowdoin's sailing team held a themed party that sparked issues of racism and cultural appropriation. The theme was characterized as "gangster-themed" featuring costumes that were stereotypical of black culture. This sparked a major debate on campus about racism, cultural stereotypes, and racial discrimination.
On February 20, 2016, Bowdoin students sent an email inviting each other to a "tequila-themed" party that featured Mexican-themed tapestries as well as students wearing sombreros, consuming tequila, assuming Mexican accents, and participating in other activities closely linked with Latin American culture. The email, party, and subsequent aftermath caused extended media coverage and backlash from students, and their administration citing the incident as "ethnic stereotyping" and "act of bias". The student government filed articles of impeachment against student representatives who participated in planning the party's activities, and the incident was covered by selected national news outlets, including The Washington Post, which ran three separate pieces regarding the incident.
In April 2013, the college was at the center of National Association of Scholars's report entitled, "What Does Bowdoin Teach? How a Contemporary Liberal Arts College Shapes Students." The report was later dubbed, "The Bowdoin Project" due to widespread media coverage. The 359-page report was financed at a cost of $100,000. The assessment criticized and denounced, in thorough detail, the college's academic program, sexual atmosphere, treatment of women and minorities, student and faculty diversity, drug and alcohol issues, student safety, and hazing, among twenty-six other categories. The report was rebutted by the at-the-time President Barry Mills, who called the assessment, "mean-spirited and personal."
Bowdoin College signed onto the American College and University President's Climate Commitment in 2007. The college followed through with a carbon neutrality plan released in 2009, with 2020 as the target year for carbon neutrality. According to the plan, general improvements to Maine's electricity grid will account for 7% of carbon reductions, commuting improvements will account for 1%, and the purchase of renewable energy credits will account for 41%. The college intends to reduce its own carbon emissions 28% by 2020, leaving the remaining 23% for new technologies and more renewable energy credits. The plan includes the construction of a solar thermal system, part of the "Thorne Solar Hot Water Project"; cogeneration in the central heating plant (for which Bowdoin received $400,000 in federal grants); lighting upgrades to all campus buildings; and modern monitoring systems of energy usage on campus. In 2017 the College was on track to meet the 28% own source reduction target and efforts have continued in the areas of energy conservation, efficiency upgrades and transitioning to lower carbon fuel sources. Bowdoin's facilities are heated by an on-campus heating plant which burns natural gas. In February 2013, the college announced that 1.4% of its endowment is invested in the fossil fuel industry. The disclosure was in response to students' calls to divest these holdings.
Between 2002 and 2008, Bowdoin College decreased its CO2 emissions by 40%. It achieved that reduction by switching from #6 to #2 oil in its heating plant, reducing the campus set heating point from 72 to 68 degrees, and by adhering to its own Green Design Standards in renovations. In addition, Bowdoin runs a single stream recycling program, and its dining services department has begun composting food waste and unbleached paper napkins. Bowdoin received an overall grade of "B-" for its sustainability efforts on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009 published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
In 2003, Bowdoin made a commitment to achieve LEED-certification for all new campus buildings. The college has since completed construction on Osher and West residency halls, the Peter Buck Center for Health & Fitness, the Sidney J. Watson Arena, 216 Maine Street, and 52 Harpswell all of which have attained LEED, Silver LEED or Gold LEED certification. The new dorms partially use collected rain water as part of an advanced flushing system.
Museums on Bowdoin's campus include the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. Notable buildings include Massachusetts Hall, Hubbard Hall, the Parker Cleaveland House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.
Organized athletics at Bowdoin began in 1828 with a gymnastics program established by the "father of athletics in Maine," John Neal. In the proceeding years, Neal agitated for more programs and himself taught bowling, boxing, and other sports.
Modern Bowdoin has thirty varsity sports teams, and competes in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, which also includes Amherst, Conn College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams. The college's rowing club competes in the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Chase Regatta annually. Bowdoin's mascot is the polar bear, and the school's official color is white. The college also has intercollegiate and club teams in men's and women's fencing, men's and women's rowing, men's rugby, water polo, men's soccer, men's volleyball and men's and women's Ultimate.
The Bowdoin field hockey team are four-time NCAA Division III National Champions; winning the title in 2007 (defeating Middlebury College), 2008 (defeating Tufts University), 2010 (defeating Messiah College) and 2013 (defeating Salisbury University). Head coach Nicky Pearson has been NESCAC coach of the year a record 8 times after winning 8 NESCAC championships. She has led the polar bears to 9 NCAA Final Four appearances. Pearson has been recognized as the NCAA Division III coach of the year four times.
In 2011, two Bowdoin players won the NCAA Men's Double title. In 2016, Bowdoin's Men's Tennis won the NCAA college Division III Championship after defeating Emory University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the spring of 2018, Bowdoin's Men's Tennis won their second-straight NESCAC championship.
The Bowdoin sailing team competes in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association. In 2014, the women's sailing team was ranked 2nd in the U.S. in a national poll by Sailing World. The women's basketball team are 8-time NESCAC champions, holding a record 7-year streak from 2000-01 to 2006-07.
In 2012, the men's indoor track Distance Medley Relay Team won the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
In addition to several outdoor athletic fields (Pickard field & Whittier Field), the college's athletic facilities include:
- Sidney J. Watson Ice Hockey Arena (2,300 capacity, LEED certification)
- Buck Center for Health and Fitness (LEED certification)
- Hubbard Grandstand and Whittier Field (9,000 capacity)
- A. LeRoy Greason Pool
- Lubin Family Squash Center
- Boathouses for sailing and rowing
Notable Bowdoin alumni include:
- U.S. Secretary of Treasury, U.S. Representative, & U.S. Senator from Maine William Pitt Fessenden (1824)
- U.S. President Franklin Pierce (1824)
- Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1825)
- Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne (1825)
- Abolitionist and publisher John Brown Russwurm (1826))
- Medical missionary to the Batticotta Seminary Nathan Ward
- Civil War general Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1852)
- Civil War general Oliver Otis Howard (1850)
- Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Melville Fuller (1853)
- U.S. Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed (1860)
- Civil War general Thomas W. Hyde, medal of honor recipient, author, founder of Bath Iron Works (1861)
- Mayo Clinic co-founder Dr. Augustus Stinchfield (1868)
- Physicist Edwin Hall (1875)
- Freelan Oscar Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer, and builder of the Stanley Hotel (1877)
- Arctic explorer Admiral Robert Peary (1877)
- Cravath, Swaine, and Moore presiding partner Hoyt Augustus Moore (1895)
- Gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist Sir Harry Oakes (1896)
- Arctic explorer Donald B. MacMillan (1898)
- Business leader and President, Manufacturers Trust Company Harvey Dow Gibson (1902)
- US Senator Paul H. Douglas (1913)
- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert P.T. Coffin (1915)
- Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey (1916)
- Miami-Dade County judge and television arbitrator Karen Mill-Francis
- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hodding Carter (1927)
- Film and television actor Gary Merrill (1937)
- Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Everett P. Pope (1941)
- M*A*S*H creator H. Richard Hornberger (1945)
- Businessman and philanthropist Bernard Osher (1948)
- Businessman and independent financial consultant Raymond S. Troubh (1950)
- Co-founder of the Subway sandwich chain Peter Buck (1952)
- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas R. Pickering (1953)
- U.S. Senator George Mitchell (1954)
- President and Chairman of the Board of L.L. Bean, Leon Gorman (1956)
- Donald M. Zuckert, chairman and CEO of Ted Bates Worldwide, Inc. (1956)
- U.S. Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen (1962)
- Award-winning photographer Abelardo Morell (1971)
- Senior judge of the US District Court for the District of Maine John A. Woodcock Jr. (1972)
- American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault (1973)
- Harlem Children's Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada (1974)
- Alvin Hall, financial adviser, author, and media personality (1974)
- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (1974)
- Oaktree Capital Management founder and partner Sheldon M. Stone (1974) 
- Investor Stanley Druckenmiller (1975)
- Economist and former Governor of the Federal Reserve Lawrence B. Lindsey (1975)
- NBC News Senior Legal and Investigative Correspondent Cynthia McFadden (1978)
- Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group John Studzinski (1978)
- Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson (1979)
- Barclays CEO Jes Staley (1979)
- Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andrew E. Serwer (1981)
- Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings (1983)
- HBO Academy Award-winning producer Kary Antholis (1984)
- Fashion designer and entrepreneur Ruthie Davis (1984)
- "Prison Break" and "Private Practice" actor Paul Adelstein (1991)
- Composer, writer, and musician DJ Spooky (1992)
- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr (1995)
- New York Times Justice Department reporter Katie Benner (1999)
- Poet, critic, and performer Claudia La Rocco (2000)
- General Manager, New York Mets Jared Porter (2003)
- Comedian Hari Kondabolu (2004)
- Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson (2007)
- New York State Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani (2014)
Bowdoin graduates have led all three branches of the American federal government, including both houses of Congress. Franklin Pierce (1824) was America's fourteenth President; Melville Weston Fuller (1853) served as Chief Justice of the United States; Thomas Brackett Reed (1860) was twice elected Speaker of the House of Representatives; and Wallace H. White, Jr. (1899) and George J. Mitchell (1954) both served as Majority Leader of the United States Senate.
- As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
- "Common Data Set 2016-2017" (PDF). Bowdoin College. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Bowdoin at a Glance". Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "Bowdoin College". US News & World Report. 2018. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- "Engineering Dual-Degree Options". Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
- "Departments and Programs | Bowdoin College". www.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on December 16, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
- "To the Pole". Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "Medical School of Maine: Historical Records and Files 8.2". library.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on December 18, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- "The Bowdoin Coastal Studies Center". Bowdoin.edu. March 1, 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011.
- "A description of Kent Island". Bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "The Charter of Bowdoin College – Office of the President". www.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Wallner, Peter A. (Spring 2005). "Franklin Pierce and Bowdoin College Associates Hawthorne and Hale" (PDF). Historical New Hampshire. New Hampshire Historical Society: 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 17, 2015.
- John J. Pullen, "Joshua Chamberlain: A Hero's Life and Legacy," Stackpole Books (1999), ISBN 9780585283463, pg. 60
- Nevin, David (1970). Muskie of Maine. Ladd Library, Bates College: Random House, New York. p. 99.
- Larson, Timothy (2005). "Faith by Their Works: The Progressive Tradition at Bates College from 1855 to 1877,". Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: Bates College Publishing. pp. Multi–source.
- "Chapter 2 | 150 Years | Bates College". www.bates.edu. Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- James Grant, "Mr. Speaker!: The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed," Simon & Schuster (2011), ISBN 978-1416544944, pg. 9
- "Bowdoin to Discontinue Annual Academic Award in the Name of Jefferson Davis | Bowdoin News". community.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- Druett, Joan (2000). She Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea. Simon and Schuster. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-7432-1437-7. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- Robert E. Peary, Northward over the Great Ice, – a narrative of life and work along the shores and upon the interior ice-cap of northern Greenland in the years 1886 and 1891-1897, with a description of the little tribe pp. 393–394
- "Website of the Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum". Academic.bowdoin.edu. November 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2001. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Krantz, Laura (July 31, 2017). "Harvard looks to Bowdoin as model in eradicating frats, but its decision had mixed results". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Story posted January 24, 2008 (January 24, 2008). "Bowdoin Eliminates Student Loans While Vowing to Maintain its Com, Campus News (Bowdoin)". Bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Trustees meeting focuses on finances — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
- "The Bowdoin Curriculum | Bowdoin College". www.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- "Campus Life: Bowdoin; Students Angered By Vote to Change Grading System". The New York Times. April 15, 1990. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- "Campus Life: Bowdoin; Students Angered By Vote to Change Grading System". The New York Times. April 15, 1990. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- "Bowdoin Orient article on Bowdoin producing Fulbright Scholars". Orient.bowdoin.edu. January 27, 2006. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2021". Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- "Best Colleges 2021: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
- "2020 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
- "Bowdoin College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
- "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- "The Best College in America Is in a Tiny Town in Maine". October 20, 2016. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "2017 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America". Archived from the original on January 30, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "The 600 Smartest Colleges In America". Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- "1,339 U.S. Colleges Ranked By Average Student Brainpower" (PDF). Psychologytoday.com. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "2018 Liberal Arts College Rankings". Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- Newsweek Web Exclusive (August 21, 2006). "25 New Ivies – The nation's elite colleges these days include more than Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Why? It's the tough competition for all the top students. That means a range of schools are getting fresh bragging rights". Newsweek. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- "About the Class of 2023". Bowdoin. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved March 19, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Acceptance Rate for Class of 2022 is Lowest Ever– The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. March 31, 2017. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Bowdoin At A Glance – Admissions". www.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Acceptance rate reaches new low at 10.3% — The Bowdoin Orient". Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "207 students admitted Early Decision I for Class of 2020, 33.7 percent acceptance rate — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
- "College boasts new record with 7,052 applications, accepts 14.5 percent — The Bowdoin Orient". Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Bowdoin College | Best College | US News". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. September 24, 2012. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- "Bowdoin College Statistics". College Prowler. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Class of 2013 Profile (Bowdoin Admissions)". Bowdoin.edu. August 20, 2009. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "University admissions: Accepted". The Economist. April 17, 2008. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Aisch, Gregor; Buchanan, Larry; Cox, Amanda; Quealy, Kevin (January 18, 2017). "Economic diversity and student outcomes at Bowdoin". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
- "College Search – Bowdoin College". Collegesearch.collegeboard.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- Charles C. Calhoun, A Small College in Maine: 200 Years of Bowdoin, published by the college in 1993, ISBN 0-916606-25-2
- Herald, University (August 10, 2015). "Princeton Review: Bowdoin College Tops 'Best Campus Food' List". Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- Sanders, Michael S. (April 9, 2008). "Latest College Reading Lists: Menus With Pho and Lobster". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- "Who Has the Best Food? See the College Rankings That Really Matter". Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Orient article interviewing Professor Morgan". Orient.bowdoin.edu. February 18, 2005. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Bowdoin Outing Club website". Studorgs.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "The Peucinian Society". Peucinian Society. Archived from the original on September 3, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- "Team Info". Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- Walton, Marsha. "Dogged determination leads to RoboCup victory". CNN. Archived from the original on August 8, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson (ed.). Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc. p. 177.
- "Bowdoin Brief: Orient takes national newspaper award". Orient.bowdoin.edu. April 6, 2007. Archived from the original on July 8, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Bowdoin Orient Wins Regional College Journalism Award | Bowdoin News Archive". Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- "The Bowdoin Cable Network". Bcn.bowdoin.edu. January 1, 2009. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "A cappella council convenes, selects". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Race, Peter (1987). Meddiebempsters History: "And may the music echo long..." 1937-1987. pp. 17–30. ML200.8.B73 M44 1987.
- "Student Reports Sexual Assault at Mayflower Apts". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
- "Police Identify Person of Interest in Bowdoin College Sexual Assault". Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- Brogan, Beth; Staff, B. D. N. "Man charged with secretly photographing nude Bowdoin students". The Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- "Message to the Bowdoin Community". November 18, 2015. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- Staff, CS. "Bowdoin Attributes Jump in Reported Rapes to New Rules". www.campussafetymagazine.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- "These colleges have the most reports of rape". Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- TEGNA. "Bowdoin College led ME schools in 2014 reported rapes". Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Paulson, Michael (June 9, 2014). "Colleges and Evangelicals Collide on Bias Policy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Christian fellowship moves off-campus to house on Harpswell Road — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Bowdoin sailing team's 'gangster party' criticized as racist". Nvs24.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "President Rose Leads Town Hall Meeting on Issues of Race". Community.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "'Gangster' party spurs debate over racism on campus". Bowdoinorient.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "Bowdoin sailing team's 'gangster party' criticized as racist". Bangordailynews.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "Stereotyping at 'tequila' party causes backlash — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Reaves, Tony; Staff, B. D. N. "Report: Bowdoin students face punishment for stereotyping at 'tequila party'". The Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Sombreros at Bowdoin 'tequila party' ignite controversy on campus and beyond". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Doghead: is it culturally appropriate?". The Colby Echo. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "BSG to introduce articles of impeachment against two members — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Rampell, Catherine (March 3, 2016). "Political correctness devours yet another college, fighting over mini-sombreros". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Rampell, Catherine (March 4, 2016). "Bowdoin update: On Facebook, school flaunted photos of alumni, students in school-provided sombreros". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
- Rampell, Catherine (March 4, 2016). "Why write about tiny sombreros?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
- "What Does Bowdoin Teach? How a Contemporary Liberal Arts College Shapes Students National Association of Scholars". www.nas.org. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "National Association of Scholars". www.nas.org. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Report critiques Bowdoin as example of everything wrong with liberal arts colleges". BostonGlobe.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Bowdoin College Commits to Climate Neutral Campus". Bowdoin College. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "A Blueprint for Carbon Neutrality in 2020" (PDF). Bowdoin College. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Bowdoin On Track To Meet Carbon Neutrality Goal, Campus News (Bowdoin)". Bowdoin. February 3, 2011. Archived from the original on March 15, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Update for FY 2017" (PDF). September 20, 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 7, 2017.
- "Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Update for FY 2012" (PDF). Bowdoin College. Retrieved March 31, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Casey, Garrett (February 8, 2013). "1.4 percent of College's endowment invested in fossil fuels". The Bowdoin Orient. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "What We're Doing". Bowdoin College. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- "Waste Management". Bowdoin College. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- "Bowdoin College – Green Report Card 2009". Greenreportcard.org. June 30, 2007. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "LEED Certification (Bowdoin, Sustainability)". Bowdoin.edu. September 22, 2009. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Sears, Donald A. (1978). John Neal. Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers. p. 106. ISBN 9780805772302.
- Barry, William D. (May 20, 1979). "State's Father of Athletics a Multi-Faceted Figure". Maine Sunday Telegram. Portland, Maine. p. 1D.
- Barry, William D. (May 20, 1979). "State's Father of Athletics a Multi-Faceted Figure". Maine Sunday Telegram. Portland, Maine. p. 2D.
- "The Bowdoin Polar Bear". athletics.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- "Student Organizations". students.bowdoin.edu. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "Bowdoin" (PDF). Bowdoin. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 3, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- "Field Hockey". Bowdoin. Archived from the original on June 12, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Field Hockey – Bowdoin". Archived from the original on June 12, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Bowdoin Tandem of Pena and Sullivan Win NCAA Men's Tennis Doubles Title". NESCAC. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Wednesday's Maine college roundup: Bowdoin men's tennis team wins NCAA crown". Portland Press Harold. Portland Press Harold. Archived from the original on June 30, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "Back to Back! Men's Tennis Claims Second-Straight NESCAC Crown". Bowdoin Polar Bears. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "Sailing World College Rankings, September 25th, 2014". Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Women's Basketball Championship Results" (PDF). New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- "Bowdoin College Women's Basketball History" (PDF). Bowdoin College. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- "Men's Distance Medley Relay Team Wins Division III National Championship – Bowdoin". Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 28, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)